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‘A Grievous Sin’: Gisbertus Voetius (1589–1676) and His Anti-Lombard Polemic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the most important of the Utrecht University's founding fathers, Gisbertus Voetius (1589-1676). His scholarship and social and ecclesiastical activity as a protagonist of a further reformation ("Nadere Reformatie") in the Dutch Republic were emphatically built on that prayer: Sol Justitiae Illustra Nos. One of the points that found its way frequently to the agenda of provincial synods in the seventeenth century was the protest against "grievous" or "grave and manifest sins". Although the lending banks developed in different ways in different countries, one of the features common to them was their monopoly on pawnbroking. In the middle of the seventeenth century, the grudge held against the Lombards was only increased by the Reformed church and its repeated anti-Lombard decisions made between the 1581 synod of Middelburg and ca. 1650. Theologically the debate soon came to revolve around the explanation of Lord's Day 42 of the Heidelberg Catechism.

Keywords: Anti-Lombard Polemic; Gisbertus Voetius; government lending banks; grievous sins; Heidelberg Catechism; Reformed church



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